May 09--Shares of Amarin Corp. plc were up more than 1 percent in morning trading after the company released overnight its first-quarter financial results that showed a more than quadrupling of sales for its leading drug, the heart medication Vascepa.
While Vascepa sales were only $2.3 million in the first three months of last year, Amarin, which has research headquarters in Groton, saw that number jump to $11 million in this year's first quarter.
John F. Thero, Amarin's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that the quarter was "an important transitional period for Amarin" as it dealt with a reduced staff while boosting sales significantly.
"Our revenue per sales representative continued to increase as did overall prescriptions from our top target," Thero said. "We also continued to reduce expenses significantly."
Thero, who addressed analysts this morning during a conference call, was particularly enthused by Amarin's recently announced partnership with Kowa Pharmaceuticals America that will expand the Vascepa sales team. He expected that the combined Amarin-Kowa sales team would be able to reach out to doctors that represent 90 percent of the prescriptions for the competitive GlaxoSmithKline product Lovaza.
"We expect that our increased focus on key target accounts and our broader detailing with Kowa Pharmaceuticals America will result in meaningful revenue growth from Vascepa," he said.
Amarin reported a net loss of $26 million in the first quarter compared with a loss of $62.2 million in the same period last year.
Other quarterly highlights included:
--A key cardiovascular outcomes trial is now 85 percent enrolled.
--Net cash outflow from operations fell 54 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year.
--Amarin continues to appeal a regulatory decision to rescind a special protocol agreement that would ease the company's ability to market Vascepa more widely.
(c)2014 The Day (New London, Conn.)
Visit The Day (New London, Conn.) at www.theday.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services